I have been watching this really creepy series on HBO GO called The Outsider. It is based on a book by Stephen King, who more often than not taps into my worst nightmares. It is so disturbing that I go around with all the lights on after an episode and double check that all the shades are down and all the doors are locked. I even got out the cross pendant my mom gave me and wore it to bed one night, just a little added protection….Ha! However, I can not seem to stop watching the series.
I often wonder why we are drawn to such things but it must be human nature, curiosity or the need to know why we sometimes feel the willies for no apparent reason. Some call it spider sense, others a gut feeling but it is our sixth sense. Mr. King has made a fortune delving into the darkness so there must be something to it.
The abstract expressionist were all about, “making art that while abstract was also expressive or emotional in its effect. They were inspired by the surrealist idea that art should come from the unconscious mind”. (ref. Tate.org.uk).
This abstract painting definitely came from my subconscious mind. As a kid, I lived in a very old house, (for America anyway), well over 200 years old. My mom looked up the deeds and gave up her quest after the handwriting in the town’s documents became illegible. There were many strange occurrences in the house but I will leave that for another time. It fueled my imagination, hence the nightmares. Leaving a light on in the next room always did seem to help. In this piece you are looking through the scary darkness, the horizontal drips feel like a barrier to the safety of the light beyond the shadows.
Trucks hold a special place in my memory and heart. When I was growing up, my grandfather had his own business as an electrician. My dad occasionally would need to borrow Gramp’s big, yellow pick-up truck and if I was lucky, I got to go along for the ride. Inside the cab of the truck, there were always wintergreen and butter-rum Lifesavers candies and Chiclets gum. When I got a little older, I was allowed to ride in the back of the truck behind the cab. It was great fun bouncing around back there, hanging on to the bar or sitting on the wheel well getting my hair all tangled from the wind.
I took a trip down to Moab recently and took some photos for inspiration. In this time of Covid, with the world turned upside down, I wanted to convey a sense of peace, calm and a bit of nostalgia. Instead of painting the F150 that was heading toward me when I took the shot, I decided to paint one from a long ago memory of a truck my dad bought when I was a kid. It was just like the one pictured in my painting. His truck was dark blue and an antique when he bought it. I remember the floor had a big hole in it and you could see the ground rushing by as we rode along. I don’t think it ran well as he sold it shortly thereafter to a neighbor. It mostly sat in his yard, the grass growing up around it. I always thought it was and amazing piece of engineering and design.
I am always up for looking at art. I love going to galleries, museums, shows and art fairs just to see what is new, get ideas, & marvel at the talent out there. Lately with the Covid quarantine, I started following a few artists on Instagram, enjoying Isolation Art School in particular. Although I love art, I don’t have an art collection really. My home is filled with my own art mostly, I have a few favorite paintings that I can’t seem to part with, a few older paintings for posterity to remind myself of my progression but haven’t really collected anything, until now.
I started listening to this amazing pod cast called Collect Wisely by Sean Kelly. His gallery is on the corner of 36th Street and 10th Avenue, just down the block from our apartment. Apparently it has been there for decades, but had not been one I frequented in Chelsea. Anyway, you can click this link to hear the first episode with collector J. Tomilson Hill. I have been making my way through the episodes and am fascinated that most collectors start when they are young with simple, affordable pieces. Although my youth is but a faded memory, I decided to start my collection just the same.
Logan Hicks is an artist I follow on IG. He does murals, paintings and photography that I always find beautiful. I also love the history and stories he recounts in his posts about the places that inspire him. Recently, he has been roaming the streets of New York City at night and taking some amazing photographs. I love New York and it was so hard to choose but I managed to pick two, one of the Apollo Theater in Harlem and the second of Coney Island, both taken at night. So these are the first pieces in my collection. Click the links and tell me what you think. They are limited edition photos. He has a marvelous shop, Work Horse Visuals, which I hope to replicate one day when I get my act together. Ha!
I am very pleased to announce that I have joined the Board of Directors at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, (UMOCA). I have been helping out the past year or so with some of their programs, Art Fit, the Covid Ask and attending regular development meetings. I am very impressed with the UMOCA staff and especially with the new director, Laura Aldred Hurtado, she is a power house of talent with a clear vision for UMOCA. Next year is the 90th anniversary of the museum and Ms. Hurtado will most certainly put this museum on the map with a nod to past successes and a preview of what is to come in the future!
It has been challenging to plan events with the Covid restrictions in place in Salt Lake City but we have come up with a few fun ideas I think you will enjoy! Please click the link for Date Night at the Museum, that will be held on three Saturdays in June, the 13th, 20th and 27th. Only $200 per couple!
Since the museum has been closed, the current exhibitions can be virtually seen on the website. They also set up live interviews with two of the artists currently on display in the galleries. You can view the recorded versions, the first is Devin Harclerode’s interview about her show “Boundaries” for an insightful view into her works. The second will be posted to the site shortly, stay tuned!
Please mark your calendars and save the date for the UMOCA Gala, scheduled for October 24th, 2020! This event will also be Covid safe, with only 60 tickets available for a fantastic evening. More details to come soon.
Lastly, if you would like to volunteer to help, please let me know! Be the change you hope to see in the world and stay safe!
The series of events of late are surreal for me and there are a lot of heartfelt emotions to comprehend, process and absorb. When titling this painting, I wanted to capture the essence of the storm and relate it to my own feelings of unrest, vulnerability and injustice. Dylan has always been a favorite of mine and this song plays in my head as I think about all that is happening now.
Shelter from the Storm
‘Twas in another lifetime, one of toil and blood When blackness was a virtue the road was full of mud I came in from the wilderness, a creature void of form Come in, she said I’ll give ya shelter from the storm. And if I pass this way again, you can rest assured I’ll always do my best for her, on that I give my word In a world of steel-eyed death, and men who are fighting to be warm Come in, she said I’ll give ya shelter from the storm. Not a word was spoke between us, there was little risk involved Everything up to that point had been left unresolved Try imagining a place where it’s always safe and warm Come in, she said I’ll give ya shelter from the storm. I was burned out from exhaustion, buried in the hail Poisoned in the bushes an’ blown out on the trail Hunted like a crocodile, ravaged in the corn Come in, she said I’ll give ya shelter from the storm. Suddenly I turned around and she was standin’ there With silver bracelets on her wrists and flowers in her hair She walked up to me so gracefully and took my crown of thorns Come in, she said I’ll give ya shelter from the storm. Now there’s a wall between us, somethin’ there’s been lost I took too much for granted, I got my signals crossed Just to think that it all began on an uneventful morn Come in, she said I’ll give ya shelter from the storm. Well, the deputy walks on hard nails and the preacher rides a mount But nothing really matters much, it’s doom alone that counts And the one-eyed undertaker, he blows a futile horn Come in, she said I’ll give ya shelter from the storm. I’ve heard newborn babies wailin’ like a mournin’ dove And old men with broken teeth stranded without love Do I understand your question, man, is it hopeless and forlorn Come in, she said I’ll give ya shelter from the storm. In a little hilltop village, they gambled for my clothes I bargained for salvation and she gave me a lethal dose I offered up my innocence I got repaid with scorn Come in, she said I’ll give ya shelter from the storm. Well, I’m livin’ in a foreign country but I’m bound to cross the line Beauty walks a razor’s edge, someday I’ll make it mine If I could only turn back the clock to when God and her were born Come in, she said I’ll give ya shelter from the storm”
I am generally a very open person. My family is always amazed at the intimate details complete strangers share with me about their lives. Some amazing opportunities have come my way just by happenstance, or fate as you will, from being open.
One summer afternoon in 2014, shortly after I had moved back to NYC, I found myself on an LIRR platform, trying to figure out which platform was for trains going into NYC and which were going out to the end of Long Island. There was no one around to ask, the ticket window was closed. An unusual looking man, dressed in cargo shorts, a tee shirt and a ball cap that said, “JERK” across the front walked onto the platform, (I later discovered the street artist, “Incarcerated Jerkface” hence the cap). He had a twinkle in his eye, a waxed handlebar mustache, tattoos everywhere and was carrying some canvas bags. I decided to ask him if I was in the right place. He answered in an Irish brogue that indeed I was on the platform heading to NYC. We started talking and he told me that he was heading to Bushwick, Brooklyn to work on a mural for The Bushwick Collective, and showed me all the cans of spray paint in his bags. Solus was my personal introduction to Street Art. His visual social commentary is concise and on target and his playful sense of humor draws you into his world and makes you want to see what else he has to say. That chance meeting opened my eyes to all the street art around me and I was hooked.
I wanted to work with spray paint and on a larger scale. The street is a gritty place so I used that influence by spray painting on old construction board, then using markers and oil crayons for more definition. I worked in the stairwell in my building which was being renovated so there was lots of construction there at the time. Certainly not ideal but super exciting. I was kicked out of the stairwell by the construction dude and that was the end of spray painting until I moved to the Bay area near San Francisco. I converted the garage of that place into my outdoor studio. I started small and found I liked thinking about the directional light that I could create within each piece. More fun.On
“Shady Stars”, 21″ x 21″, acrylic spray paint on steel, Sold
“Tropical Red”, 21″x 21″ acrylic spray paint on steel, Sold
“Aqua Shots”, 21″x 21″, acrylic spray paint on steel, Sold
Once I got the feel of it, I wanted to work bigger so found some steel at Home Depot and did a series of large flowers, experimenting with different techniques. I like layering the colors in a veil, masking the edges and experimenting with different nozzles to get different effects.
Finished and framed it brightens up an otherwise white apartment in my beloved NYC.
Big Red was juried into the Artbox Project’s gallery at Art Basel Miami. My friend went to check out my art and make sure everything was looking good for me. I was digitally represented in this show which is wonderfully vibrant on the screen.
Delphinium, (above), can be hung vertically or horizontally. A lot of time when I am working on a composition, I flip the panel around to make sure it is balance, especially in more abstract works. Carmen, (below), has layers of color to create luminosity and vibrance.
Violet Iris was sold to a collector who loves everything Iris.
I really liked the vibrant brights but wanted something a bit softer in dessert colors to sell in the high desert of Park City, Utah. I made Metamorphosis and Spiraling Fauna as companion pieces. The former is a large orchid like flower and the latter a compilation of smaller shapes weaving through one another.
“Metamorphosis”, acrylic spray paint on steel, 39″ x 51″, $6000
Metamophosis in the Artbox Gallery booth at the Spectrum Miami show, 2016.
“Metamorphosis” $7000, in a Park City boudoir.
Spiraling Fauna, 2015, 39 x 51, oil on steel, Sold
“Spiraling Flora” in a Deer Valley home.
So now what? Well, since the weather has finally warmed up, I am back in my well ventilated semi-outdoor studio thinking about what to do next. I used an underpainting that was spray painted for my most recent piece, “Pestilence” and am working on a few more sub-paintings for a few more city scapes. I follow artist Douglas Schneider in social media as I really enjoy his perspective and works. He is a master at abstracting parts of his paintings while still having nostalgic, figurative elements as well.
As I stay safely at home in Park City, abiding by the social distancing guidelines, my heart goes out to everyone effected by this pandemic, but particularly those in the epicenter of disease in our country, New York City.
I wanted to channel my emotions and put them into a painting and this is the result. The underpainting is done with acrylic spray paints, some grid panels I found and a stencil that I designed and made. The achitectural structure of the metal grid contrasts with an organic, spidery, floral overlay which represent the virus infiltrating the city. The cityscape is taken from some photos I took from the 45th floor, overlooking the Hudson River on the west side of Manhattan. I interpreted the disease as an alluring, ghostly siren making her way into the city, tempting citizens to their fate. She brings with her the disease, suspended in the air around her. I have left some of the underpainting showing though in the streets and buildings representing the viruses infectious, rapid spread. Hope is the message on the building, hoping people will stay home and safe and curb this ravaging beast.
One of the things I love about Urban Art are the characters that become part of the artists signature style. There is something about these playful images in particular that touches a nostalgic chord in me. Watching cartoons on Saturday mornings, walking down to Denure’s shop in town to read the comic books, (then buy one or two for good measure), and reading the Sunday funnies are very fond memories of my youth.
Betty Boop has always been a favorite. Check out one of her early flicks, “The Old Man of the Mountain”. One of the things that catapulted her to fame was the longing of folks during the Depression to harken back to a happier time. Another was that she was pre-National Legion of Decency and the early flicks were quite racy. You can’t talk about Betty and not mention the famous Cab Calloway song, “Minnie the Moocher”.
This mural by Trent Call is in the pedestrian tunnel under Bonanza Blvd. on the rail trail in Park City, Utah. The characters remind me of the Betty Boop era (one of the characters has a striking resemblance to her), and could easily have been in one of her movies. I like that the artist has these wonderfully nostalgic characters enjoying many of the fun things that Park City has to offer: hiking, biking, skiing, drinking coffee and spirits and also illustrates some of the crossover of the local industry: making movies, roasting coffee and cocoa beans, distilling spirits, brewing beer and mining.
When you are looking for something fun to do in isolation, take a bike ride on the rail trail and check out this spectacular Street Art! It is in the second tunnel as you ride up the hill towards Main Street!
Touring Iceland, on the way to Snaefellsjokull National Park
The photos above are some that I took last year while traveling in Iceland. We were going to see Sanefellsjokul, a volcano that we actually braved cold and wind to climb. Pretty cool hike. I like these photos particularly because it is spring, snow still on the mountains, nothing green coming up from the ground just yet and no one around. It seems so long ago, so much has changed. I wonder how the residence are doing in this isolated land? I have a book of Andrew Wyeth’s paintings and these photos remind me of some of his works.
What is the attraction?
I have contemplated the attraction to my road paintings, is it the road itself that suggests a journey? Is it a metaphor for the journey we all explore called life? Perhaps it isn’t the road at all but the open skies portrayed in several of my paintings? Check out my Journeys portfolio and let me know what draws you to this type of painting, or what repels you. What is your favorite? I had a man come into the gallery in February and we were discussing the vehicles in my painting, Sidewinder, (below). He didn’t like them at all and thought it would be a much stronger painting with just the road winding through the mountains. I asked a few of the other folks in the gallery at the time if they liked or did not like the vehicles, which they did. What do you think?
I am working on growing my following so if you enjoy my posts, please share me on your social media or forward this to a fellow art lover! Thanks so much for your interest in my work.
Most of us have a little more time on our hands this week as we all stay safely at home, hopefully curtailing the spread of the virus. The world will emerge a different place after we move past this pandemic. It will be a defining moment and eventually fade into history.
In an effort to hold on to something dear, I am donating funds to help UMOCA, (Utah’s Museum of Contemporary Art in Salt Lake City), to help them bridge the fiscal gap that so many businesses, non-profit or otherwise, are struggling to fill. I know many of you have been laid off, had your hours cut and are worried about the future. We are all in this together and things will turn around. For those of you in a position to give, I urge you to help. You can donate now by clicking the link above.
My heart goes out to those who lost their battle with the virus, and the families who loved them as well as the health care workers who are risking everything to do their jobs. I am so grateful. Many thanks to each and every one of you. Stay safe and well.
I am always intrigued by the way other artists create and manipulate the same flat space that I do. I am often blown away by these creatives and in order to effect my own progression, it is important to experiment and try new things!
I started this painting last summer, in my outdoor studio. It is acrylic spray paint on a white aluminum panel. Even though I wear a mask, the molecules of paint seem to go everywhere and coat everything so doing it in my indoor, not greatly ventilated studio is out of the question. I did a series of spray painted canvases and panels a few years ago when I got really into Street Art and it was super fun. Stencils are one of the tools of a street artist so I made this big floral stencil, figuring it might anchor a series. At the very least, I wanted it to be mine. Other elements are grids that I sprayed through to create the texture and just spraying directly on to the canvas. It is fun to experiment!
I am planning on morphing this into a cityscape, maybe with something to honor this, the year of the woman. We shall see. It is really scary to have something you really like and then want to take it to the next level. I suppose I will just get over myself as I know how I did the first bit anyway. Still scary though…
This past February, I brought my friends to the Sundance Resort on a perfect, bluebird morning. It is one of my favorite places to visit. The drive is spectacular and the scenery is ever changing, from the Jordanelle and Deer Creek Reservoirs, to the snowy peak of Mount Timpanogos. This painting is inspired by the view of Provo Canyon, just before you make the turn off Route 189 to head up to the resort.
Oil Painting Techniques
I was drawn to the contrast of the smooth, flowing rock face on the right vs. the jagged, layered mountains in the center. It was feeling a little too traditional for me so I added the drips to the evergreen trees on the left. The result reminds me a bit of some of the areas in Utah that have been ravaged by beetles, which is yet another problem caused by global warming. Ever the environmentalist, I urge you to conserve and reuse our resources and nurture our planet.
I love to paint from an aerial perspective. Being a good distance above the Earth makes me feel peaceful and serene. I have a friend who is a pilot and he sent me a few photos of his travels and I thought some of them would be fun to paint. This is a flyover of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, Forks Of Salmon, such a descriptive name of place. I was particularly drawn to the striations in the mountains, how they undulate and form such a mass. They were fun to describe in paint. Snow dusts the top of the ridge-lines like frosting on a cake, they seem to go on forever.
Golden Glow 1, oil on gold toned aluminum, 27 x 27, $2500
Golden Glow 2, oil on gold toned aluminum, 27″ x 27″ $2500
I make a lot of my paintings on 3mm double sided aluminum panels. I am not really sure what the core substance is that they put between the panels but they are very sturdy and do not pop or bend, well unless you drop one on a corner or something. Stuff happens. Generally though the are great to paint on and they come in a myriad of metal tones and finishes. I usually paint on the silver toned panel with the brushed finish. They are the same panels that sign makers use.
I have been wanting to paint on gold toned aluminum for awhile now and finally got around to ordering some. Purple is the compliment to yellow/gold so I did my best to work the colors to their limit. There is a good deal of scraping on this one as well, I really wanted to catch the beams of light as they filter through the clouds.
I like to make paintings in a series for a number of reasons. My studio is in my home and not gigantic so making larger paintings can be challenging. The metal panels come in 4′ x 8′ at their largest size. I have only done one painting with a panel in its entirety, Celestial Rhapsody, and it was really fun but a challenge to paint. I had to use a ladder to get to the top and it was too big to put on my easel so painting the bottom was a challenge as well. It is hard to sit or kneel on the floor and paint. Diptychs are also good as they can be sold together or separately and they have a nice presence in the gallery. There is a lot of competition out there for smaller painting and they tend to get lost among the larger works.
I really like layering complimentary color glazes over each other. In the painting above, I initially had hatch marks in the sky, similar to “Sidewinder” but wasn’t happy with it. I took a big squeegee and exposed more of the reflection of the metal panel, pulling the color out of the sky and letting it overlap the surrounding areas. You can see the hatch-mark remnants at the top of the sky. I really like having some type of threshold to create space. Going under the overpass in this panting is a bit less traditional as it is above rather than below the main focus of the piece.
The evergreen trees in Carmel, California are very unusual and a variety that I have not often seen. Their branches reach outward in a very graceful arc which reminds me a bit of a graceful ballet dancer, gesturing in the ocean breeze. Of course the sunsets need no explanation. It is sheer bliss to sit amongst the trees and rocks, listening to the waves crashing on the beach while the sun takes its last salute to the day. I pulled the paint away from the panel to create the shimmering ocean waves gently lapping at the shore. It was so peaceful and calm, it nurtures my soul.
The inspirational photo for this painting was given to me by a friend from LA. There is always something about the sunset that makes me pause, relax, and appreciate another good day on the planet. When it is particularly colorful, I cannot resist trying to capture that magic as it changes, moment by moment, so I can revisit it and take pause, anytime during the day.
Grandeur, oil on a brushed aluminum panel, 39″ x 51″, Sold
Grandeur Peak is one of the many mountain peaks that falls in between Park City and Salt Lake City, Utah. I like to paint all mountains and find them so inspiring, peaceful and spiritual. That is one of the reasons I spend so much of my time in Park City. When I am lucky enough to go on a delivery/install of my work I really enjoy seeing the homes in which my paintings will live. This particular home is in Park City and is pretty darned spectacular! Very modern and beautifully appointed, I could not be happier to be in such place of honor in the main living room!
I really enjoy interior design, I even considered becoming an interior designer for a quick minute but began my early career in fashion design instead. Fast forward to about ten years ago when I decided to put all that art training and work experience to good use, open my business and paint!
It is particularly pleasing to work with people who have a delightful color sense. This home owner is a master at floral design and I adored all of the exquisite arrangements of living flowers in her home. The arrangement on the mantel perfectly compliments the highlights in the painting! When I lived in the East Bay area, San Francisco, I inherited an incredible garden from the previous homes owner. I added a tiered fruit and vegetable garden in the time that we lived there and miss it still. Plums warm from the sun, right off the tree, raspberries of many varieties, the legendary California blackberry, just to name a few. My mouth is watering just thinking about them.
Fog on the Mountain, oil on white aluminum, 23″ x 23″
I am lucky enough to rise each morning and see the breathtaking view of the Wasatch Mountain Range from my window. I have become a bit of a bluebird skier and when it is foggy, I must admit to waiting for it to clear before I head out to the slopes. This is small section of the range, the highest peak on the right is 9,990.
Shadow Woman – Patriot, oil on aluminum, 27″ x 27″, $2250
I was at a meeting this morning and my friend wished her friend a Happy “Gal”-entines Day! I thought that was brilliant. Taking a perceived negative of not being in a relationship and turning it on its head. This is inspired by Richard Hambleton’s Shadowman. I am starting to work on a series of strong, invincible women. 2020 is the hundredth anniversary of women getting the right to vote in Utah! Whooo hoo!
I am thrilled to announce that I am now represented by Art Upclose on Artsy.net! This will boost my international exposure and allow sales to be easily executed on line! Please click on the link to see my page on the site! Please remember to share my art with all your friends by clicking on one of the share buttons at the bottom of the post! Thanks!